BY HARRY WAITZMAN, Poet laureate of Clarkstown
My poems spring from nowhere
And everywhere, from the genes
if my body and brains inherited
from a father and mother born
In Stepin, a small village in Poland,
best described as a shtetle of a thousand
souls who labored through seven hundred years
of tool and a few pogroms
Both crossed the ocean to the haven
of America, married begot three children
and living in Spring Valley sheltering me
with books, a cow and many chickens.
I’m vain rooster of his former life
crowing in the wilderness of late years
with pacemaker, implants and tin ears.
Only the trees of Congers sustain me.
Ripened like a later apple blushing in the sun,
my leaves clapped hurrah when I first learned
law and politics in Rockland. Fools in this paradise
lead a short life, but grandchildren extend it.